The world of weather and precisely defined seasons has changed forever. Regardless of the credence you place in global climate change and the results of this on your local weather systems, you have to accept that there has been significant change in all our weather patterns.
There are some obvious changes that we have all seen across the country, and from Boston to San Francisco there has been the rise of extreme weather. Flooding has been the one that has dominated the headlines—and is the most dramatic—but the recent sub-zero freeze in Michigan may have been the signal that these incredibly extreme phenomena are fast becoming more common. There are heat waves and severe freezes in places where the weather has been milder in the past, and it has been reported that these will become the norm.
With all this in mind, consider the following points to help you prepare for extreme and unexpected weather events:
Have a reliable local weather station
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Yes, you may be in the habit of listening to the weather with your daily dose of the news, but you should certainly also adopt a weather-specific station; one that is all about the weather and has frequent and current updates of where you live—with a longer-term forecast as well. Make this a daily practice and it will ensure that you are always prepared for whatever the weather has to throw at you. Your local stations are all getting their weather updates from a specific global weather service, and with the openness of the internet you will be able to go directly to the source.
Have a family plan of action
It is highly recommended that you have a clear plan of action that everyone knows and understands. This may seem obvious, but it is only when a crisis hits that you will understand the importance for each member of the family to know their role and have practiced it in a calmer environment. It is not about prepping or changing the structure of your home, but just having a clear idea as to what the processes are in a weather emergency. The plan should include three main components:
Staying: Everyone would rather remain in their property and look after it, and as such, this should be a part of the plan. What will you need to stay—in the way of supplies (food and water) and utilities (gas and electricity)—and who exactly will stay in the property with you?
Leaving: There may come a time when staying is not an option and as such your plan should include the departure from the home, what you will need to take, and how you intend to leave.
Communication: Regardless of what you decide to do, you will need to be able to communicate this with others. In instances of extreme weather, friends and family (as well as the emergency services) will need to know what your status is and what you have decided to do. Therefore, ensure that you have a means of communication and a battery to support this.
Reassess your home insurance and risk cover
You need to re-read and check all the details in your home and buildings insurance and risk cover. For example, professional roof ice damage repair or advice may be a new consideration that you have never thought of before but now need. The main point to keep in mind when it comes to insurance and risk cover is that the weather is often not covered as a given and as such you will need to include the very specific aspects that are unique to where you live.
Make sure you understand the extremes
The fact that the name or catchphrase given to the new emerging weather patterns is “extreme weather” should give you a clue as to what to prepare for. One of the first steps in the process of preparing for the extremes is to understand them: it’s the drought and unbearable heat versus cold and freezing conditions; followed by heavy floods and water logging. It may thus be a little more than simply having access to sandbags and a canoe, but also understanding your year-round home and family water usage, knowing what to do in extreme heat, and having the right supplies to last being cut off the grid.
It’s certain that the long-term changes in the weather are yet to show their full extent. However, what we have seen thus far should be a warning or a marker of what is to come. We all need to reconsider our relationship with the weather where we live, and through this increased mindfulness we may be more able to plan and prepare for the weather that is to come. Stay updated with Quintdaily for yet another amazing update.